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Link? between pethidine and later speech problems???

(22 Posts)
QueenEagle Mon 20-Jun-05 23:17:28

Two of my ds's had/have speech problems and I was wondering if having pethidine during labour may have contributed to their problems. Both labours progressed extremely quickly, more so than was anticipated and each was born within 45 minutes of me receiving pethidine injections. Both also slept for 24 hours solid following delivery and was almost impossible to latch them on to feed more than a few sucks during that time.

This is, of course, only my personal experience and there may not be any link whatsoever, but I wondered if anyone else has had a similar thing happen?

lou33 Mon 20-Jun-05 23:24:41

i have had 4 kids qe, all without pain relief, and 3 of them were referred to st, dd2 aged 8 still needs it. is that any consolation?

QueenEagle Mon 20-Jun-05 23:28:02

I daresay there may be nothing in it at all lou, I was just wondering out loud really. Just seems a bit of a coincidence that the two which had pethidine really close to delivery were the ones who have the speech probs. It could be that they would have had probs anyway - just wanted to see if anyone esle has wondered about it with their kids...

lou33 Mon 20-Jun-05 23:29:25

you may be right qe, i don't know tbh

i do know that my instincts about my kids (had 2 with sn) have always turned out right in the end. HAve you done any google research on it?

invisiblegirl Mon 20-Jun-05 23:29:45

i have pethedine with dd and she had brilliant speech from very early on.

zaphod Mon 20-Jun-05 23:33:42

2 of my children needed speech therapy, but I only had pethidine in one of the labours.

Actually, I always thought there was a link between ds1's foot/leg problems and his need for speech therapy, the pethidine thing never occurred to me.

QueenEagle Mon 20-Jun-05 23:35:08

No lou I haven't. It wouldn't change anything would it? Speech therapy worked for ds2 together with a statement when he started school - he's now 9 and chatters away for England! ds3 has just started speech therapy but I don't have the same instinctive feeling that he will have such long term probs as I did with ds2. Just that dh has become a backseat MNer and he mentioned it and said it might be worth posting!!

SaintGeorge Mon 20-Jun-05 23:36:11

With DS1 I had a half dose of pethidine about 40-50 mins pre-delivery. Ventouse delivery and he slept constantly for nearly 18 hrs before he properly latched for a decent feed. He is now 8 and has had no speech problems.

With DS2 no pethidine. He was delivered onto my tummy and left to make his way up for a feed, which took him about 1.5hrs. Latched brilliantly almost immediately and fed well from the beginning. He barely spoke til he was 3. Now aged 4 he is progressing well with help from SALT.

SaintGeorge Mon 20-Jun-05 23:37:26

DS1 is only 7.

I blame his constant talk of birthday party plans (and it's not until September)

lou33 Mon 20-Jun-05 23:37:50

the only thing it would change would be in your mind, if you found the answers, but that could be a a good or a bad thing, I don't know.

We have had mixed results from st as well, dd1 did really well with it, dd2 still has problems with her pronunciation, and positioning of her tongue, and has been going for 6 years, ds1 was discharged after his first visit!

marthamoo Mon 20-Jun-05 23:46:23

QE, you just described my labour with ds1. Was induced due to pre-eclampsia, they broke my waters and insisted I needed pethidine, pethidine was duly administered and ds1 was born 20 minutes later. He did badly on the Apgar and needed some kind of 'antidote' to the Pethidine. He was then very sleepy and non-responsive for 24 hours - didn't feed - and ended up with low blood sugar. But, despite all that - no speech problems.

That's pretty much anecdotal over conclusive but maybe you are looking for a reason where there isn't one. And that absolutely is not critical of you, or condescending - we all look for reasons. But that's my experience.

hunkermunker Mon 20-Jun-05 23:48:42

My mum had pethidine when she was in labour with me and the only speech problem I've EVER had is I talk too much

QueenEagle Mon 20-Jun-05 23:49:50

StG - you muppet!

lou - I hesitate to look anything up so as not to "find" something that isn't necessarily there iyswim? The only thing I do know is both these births were almost identical in the speed and intensity.

ds2 never made any babbling sounds and my instincts told me from about 6months there was something "wrong" with his speech development. He could make no recognisable sounds at all except a nasal, gutteral noise until he was about 3/4 then he got his sounds all mixed up and pronounced words in something that sounded Swahili-like.

ds3 is slightly different in that he can make sounds, but he can't copy them nor put them into the right order. When he tries to talk in sentences to you everything sounds like "huh-huh-huh-huh-huh" with intonations in the right places but nothing recognisable.

Everyone elses contributions so far seem to blow my theory out of the water....never mind it was worth a shot!

SaintGeorge Mon 20-Jun-05 23:54:10

Hey, I was only a year out!

My MIL is convinced I'm only 34 (I'm 38) even though she knows there are 2 years between me and DH. I have no intention of correcting her

Nbg Tue 21-Jun-05 04:31:03

I had pethidine near to delivery. Can't quite remember how near as it completley zonked me out.
I do remember that after I had the injection dd'd heartbeat dropped and they put one of those clip monitors on her head. Then after breaking my waters found lots of meconium in it so reg was called to the birth.

Had a similar experience to you QE after birth, with the sleeping and feeding. Couldn't latch dd on she hardly fed for over a day.


DD is only 20mths but has very little speech. We have been told that if nothing improves when she has her 2yr assessment, she will be refered to a speech therapist.


It's an interesting theory QE. I shall keep an eye on this thread and see what everyone else thinks to it.

littlerach Tue 21-Jun-05 08:36:41

Hmm, DD1 was prem and I've kind of attributed that to her speech development. I had pethidine too, so I guess it follows your theory.

DH and I were talking about it the other night, and we were commenting on the difference with DD2, one of the main things being that DD2 licks her lips, DD1 never did. I was linking it to the fact that DD1 never latched on, it was hard even getting her to have a bottle, the SALT has said that some of her speech problems to come from not using the correct muscles in her mouth/lips. SAhe ouldn't do a "kissy" face for a long time.

Not sure if I'm rambling too much now, thinking out loud!!

elsmommy Tue 21-Jun-05 08:40:53

Hmmmm. I had pethidine and dd is 21 months and doesn't talk.

Thats something to think about.

Jimjams Tue 21-Jun-05 14:50:50

ds1 severely autistic non-verbal age 6 (well actually he does say stuff just no-one recognises it as speech).

ds2 sounds came all in the wrong order- understanding always fine- just weird speech- muntil 2 and a half when overnight (lierally) started speaking properly.

ds3? too young but is shouting away think he'll be fine.

no pethidine in any labour.

dinosaur Tue 21-Jun-05 14:57:25

Well, little bit similar, my DS1 who has a diagnosis of high-functioning autism, collapsed and nearly died when he was born, and one possible explanation for this is that he might have had an extreme and unusual reaction to pethidine which I had in labour. I have often wondered whether hypoxia suffered when he was born could have contributed to his autism.

basketcase Tue 21-Jun-05 15:34:57

Wow - similar story for me WE
DD1 - labour was slow and long, change of shift for mws - new mw insisted that things should be "moved along". Against advice of previous mw (I was 6 cms and doing fine) she practically bullied me into having my waters broken. The unexpected acceleration of pain threw me completely. I went from being tired but in control to in extreme pain, frightened and feeling out of control with an indifferent mw. I went against birth plan and asked for any drugs available - she offered only pethidene. I took it gladly but hated the consequences - no pain relief but made me feel disorientated and unable to put my mouth into gear - scared me even more. To put an end to this tale, I ended up with a fast end to labour, within 30 minutes of pethidene DD1 was born. It was such a rush - loads of people as baby’s heartbeat was dipping dramaticaly within minutes of pethidine, ended up having a ventouse as they were busy preparing Dh for an emergenc c section... Baby sleepy, slow to latch on, bf never really got going and switched to bottle after 10 days of upset, tears and pain. DD1 is now 4 and has speech difficulties - taken a long time to develop properly, mixes similar sounds eg. says "mew" instead of "new" and has a pronounced lisp. She is an able little girl, very active and has good logic solving skills but language is weak in terms of development and general clarity of pronunciation.
DD2 - gas and air, bit of a frantic "all hands on deck" pulling to get out stuck shoulder so if anything more traumatic delivery but no pethidene and langauge skills are above average - talking well at 18 months starting to combine several words into basic sentences.
Maybe there is something in it, maybe just coincidence, who knows? maybe someone will enlighten us?

coppertop Tue 21-Jun-05 15:38:03

Ds1 had speech therapy due to his autism. I had quite a high dose of pethidine during labour.

Ds2 has speech therapy because of his autism. I had no pethidine at all during labour.

QueenOfQuotes Tue 21-Jun-05 15:40:08

Had Spinal Block and CS with DS1 - late talker

DS2 - had the full works, you name it I probably had it (not that it did the slightest bit of good - but that's another thread LOL) - he's only 18 (nearly 19) months - and although not 'talking' is much further advanced than his brother was at the same age.

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